Answered Japan - Photographer's hints?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by AMc, Mar 8, 2018.

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  1. AMc

    AMc
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    I'm already posting in this thread Japan Travel Thread over in Travelling & Holidays but thought I'd get some thoughts from the Photographers specifically.

    We're going for 14 days at the end of the month
    Osaka (2 nights) > Kyoto (3 nights) > Hiroshima (3 nights) > Tokyo (6 nights) :clap:

    We've got a 7 Day unlimited rail pass to cover the trips from Osaka>Tokyo so a stop or a day trip are possibilities. Hopefully we'll manage to see the Cherry Blossom in at least one of these locations.

    We don't really have any specific things to see or do
    So any tips on must see locations to take pictures of?
    I've heard the Fish Market in Tokyo is a site to see but I'm not keen on getting up at 3am to see it ;)
    Mount Fuji should be possible - from the train or perhaps a pit stop enroute.
    It's a family holiday so I won't be disappearing for hours or taking tripods and filters etc.

    Any photographic bargains to be had?
    I am trying to tame my GAS but will prices be similar to the UK.

    Any thoughts appreciated :thumbsup:
     
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #3 by AMc, Mar 12, 2018 (1 points)
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  3. AMc

    AMc
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    Fat fingers - I posted in the sharing forum not general photography - I've reported and hopefully a friendly mod will be able to move it for me :facepalm:
    Thanks @Zone for moving this :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  4. AMc

    AMc
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  5. Thumpermawer

    Thumpermawer
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    #2 Best Answer
    A timely thread, I'm also planning a return trip to Japan in May!

    We visited Japan last year, Tokyo for the most part with a trip out to the Izu Peninsula for a stay in a Ryokan (traditional Inn, complete with Kimonos, hot springs and 10 course dinner), so cant offer any tips for your first three locations, other than to check youtube; there are loads of english speaking vloggers based in Japan.

    Tsukiji fish market is indeed quite an experience, the largest in the world allegedly. The site in Tokyo has been slated for closure for a while now, but hold ups at the new site means it's stayed put. The actual fish auction (inner market) for traders is in the early hours of the morning, and is limited and ticketed. The outer market is open for much longer, and is absolutely packed with stalls, traders and restaurants selling the freshest sushi possible. I'm not normally a massive fan of sashimi (raw fish) but the fatty tuna we had was just incredible! There's plenty to see and taste even if you don't make it to the auction.

    [​IMG]Tokyo 2017 (1 of 17).jpg by Thumpermawer, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tokyo 2017 (3 of 17).jpg by Thumpermawer, on Flickr

    If you've not been to Tokyo before, it's layout is different to a lot of cities. Because it's so vast, there's no real city centre, but lots of distinct areas. For example, Ginza is the premium shopping area with high end shops, Akihabara is where you go for electronics or Manga or Shibuya for Japanese youth culture, entertainment and "that" crossing.

    [​IMG]Tokyo 2017 (6 of 23).jpg by Thumpermawer, on Flickr


    You're never too far from a Shinto shrine in Tokyo, and the large Meji shrine in Shibuya or Asakusa are both worth a visit. A lot of Japanese people are spiritual and welcome visitors to join in. For example, at the Asakusa shrine we used the fortune sticks (if it's bad luck, you can tie it to the railings to leave it behind, or keep hold of it if it's good luck), lit incense, cleansed ourselves and offered prayers following the traditional ritual.

    [​IMG]Tokyo 2017 (5 of 17).jpg by Thumpermawer, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tokyo 2017 (6 of 17).jpg by Thumpermawer, on Flickr

    Of course, we didn't know how to do any of this, which brings me to a top tip. Have a look at TOKYO FREE GUIDE - Volunteer Tour Guide Service in Tokyo. This is a brilliant service, where locals volunteer their time to show tourists their city. You enter your details, the dates you are interested in, and the type of things you would like to see (traditional culture, food and drink, modern Tokyo etc). They then try to match you up with a guide who has that experience and is available on your dates. You don't pay, and tipping is frowned upon in Japan. You will of course be expected to pay any travel or entry fees for your guide, which is a price well worth paying for the insights a local can offer. We were paired with a lovely woman called Masako, who taught us the rituals at shrines, helped us explore parts of the city and picked out an excellent restaurant based on our preferences, ordered everything in Japanese and explained about the meal. Highly recommended.

    [​IMG]Tokyo 2017 (12 of 17).jpg by Thumpermawer, on Flickr

    Another activity to consider is visiting a Sumo stable to watch a mornings training. There are agents that have arrangements with stables where - provided you follow the rules - are allowed to watch the wrestlers in action.

    [​IMG]Tokyo 2017 (2 of 39).jpg by Thumpermawer, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tokyo 2017 (5 of 39).jpg by Thumpermawer, on Flickr

    Some will also allow you to pose awkwardly for photo's with the wrestlers after training has finished.

    [​IMG]Tokyo 2017 (6 of 39).jpg by Thumpermawer, on Flickr

    As you are there for a few days, I would have a look at getting a passmo card (Japanese Oyster card) to save time using the underground - which is all you need to get round the city. A lot of places won't take cards, there's a preference for cash so stock up before you go.

    No matter where you go, what you do, or who you meet, I'd bet a hefty sum you'll have a great time! Tokyo is an incredible city, but you can really get the most out of your time there with a bit of planning on where to visit. I carried a DSLR around with me nearly the full trip and never once felt anything but perfectly safe.

    [​IMG]Tokyo 2017 (1 of 39).jpg by Thumpermawer, on Flickr
     
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    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  6. AMc

    AMc
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    Thanks @Thumpermawer that's a lot of interesting information and some great pictures.
    I'll look into the guide thing as that sounds really cool!
    We're arriving in Osaka so we'll be buying the subway card there - which according to my research can be topped up and used in Tokyo as well as our other destinations.
    :thumbsup:
     
  7. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    Yeah - great way to look slim - get a selfie with a Sumo.... :devil:
     
  8. rancidpunk

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    I only charge £20 per photo too!
     
  9. AMc

    AMc
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    I have a bit of an itch for a fisheye lens. Ideally for this trip as I suspect it would be fun in Tokyo.
    Has anyone bought camera gear in Japan - any cheaper?
     
  10. AMc

    AMc
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    Just registered for this - feel like I'm registering for Internet dating or something :D
    Slightly nervous about it but I'm keeping my fingers crossed we won't feel awkward for too long :)
    Your pictures have all disappeared from this thread but they're still visible on Flickr - odd.
     
  11. Thumpermawer

    Thumpermawer
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    Good stuff, looking forward to hearing how it went!

    I've sorted the images - i think it was because i changed publishing settings in lightroom and republished so the old images were "gone".
     
  12. AMc

    AMc
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    @Thumpermawer just realised I didn't thank you for the advice. We got a Tokyo Free Guide - a lovely woman called Kanae who showed us around Ueno and the old part of Tokyo/Edo
    It was slightly odd to begin with but she was brilliant, we wouldn't have found out about this without your help so many thanks.

    I've been posting my better pictures here if you're interested in having a look.
    Japan 2018
     
  13. Thumpermawer

    Thumpermawer
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    You are welcome, glad it worked out well! Were you in Tokyo while the blossoms were flowering? Ueno Park is quite a sight!

    I'm just catching up on your image thread now - we have just returned from our second trip to Japan this week. I want to go back already :D
     
  14. AMc

    AMc
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    The cherry was pretty much gone in Tokyo but we got a great experience of it in Kyoto and Osaka. We did see some spectacular azaleasas in Tokyo courtesy of our Free Guide. We wouldn’t have found them without her.

    Post up some pictures of your latest trip if you get the chance :)
     

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